This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2006

In Alaska

• In 1898, the steamer Clara Nevada blew up near Eldred Rock in Lynn Canal. All aboard were lost.

• In 1930, a post office was established at Port Agassiz near Petersburg. It was discontinued in 1942.

• In 1956, the Alaska Constitutional Convention adjourned in Fairbanks.

• In 1959, the Talkeetna Mountains were considered as the site of a rocket range for U.S. guided missiles from White Sands, N.M.

In the nation

• In 1881, Phoenix was incorporated.

• In 1897, the Indiana House of Representatives passed, 67-0, a measure redefining the area of a circle, effectively declaring the value of pi to be 3.2. (The bill died in the Indiana Senate.)

• In 1937, President Roosevelt proposed increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court; critics accused Roosevelt of attempting to "pack" the high court.

• In 1940, Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded "Tuxedo Junction" for RCA Victor's "Bluebird" label.

• In 1973, services were held at Arlington National Cemetery for Army Lt. Col. William B. Nolde, the last American soldier killed before the Vietnam cease-fire.

• In 1981, a military jury in North Carolina convicted Marine Pfc. Robert Garwood of collaborating with the enemy while a prisoner of war in Vietnam. (Garwood was dishonorably discharged.)

• In 1994, white separatist Byron De La Beckwith was convicted in Jackson, Miss., of murdering civil rights leader Medgar Evers in 1963, and was immediately sentenced to life in prison. (Beckwith died Jan. 21, 2001, at age 80.)

• In 1996, John C. Salvi III went on trial in Dedham, Mass., in the shooting deaths of two receptionists at abortion clinics. (Salvi was convicted and sentenced to two life terms; he was found dead in his cell in November 1996, an apparent suicide.) Actress Elizabeth Taylor filed for divorce from Larry Fortensky, her seventh husband.

• In 2001, four disciples of Osama bin Laden went on trial in New York in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. (The four were convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.) Flanked by a jumbo refund-check stage prop, President Bush asked Americans to get behind his proposed tax cuts. A disgruntled former factory worker killed five people, including himself, at an engine plant near Chicago.

• In 2005, Steve Young and Dan Marino were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In the world

• In 1917, Mexico's constitution was adopted.

• In 1958, Gamel Abdel Nasser was formally nominated to become the first president of the new United Arab Republic.

• In 1962, French President Charles De Gaulle called for Algeria's independence.

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